So Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are in London shooting Star Wars Episode VII?
And Ford’s role is reportedly ‘gigantic’?
Pardon me while I split into two separate entities in order to examine my feelings about this.
Pat A: This is, obviously, absolutely brilliant news. As a child of the 70s, the idea of seeing Han Solo and Luke Skywalker back on the big screen is–
Pat B: Jesus, what’s that on your face?
Pat A: What? Oh, I think it’s some slime from the separation process.
Pat B: Well, it’s disgusting.
Pat A: Sorry. I’ll wipe it off. Anyway, the idea of seeing Solo and Skywalker back on the big screen is so exciting I can hardly breathe. It brings back all sorts of memories and fills me with such hope for the future of the franchise. JJ Abrams is a really solid choice for director, and every announcement I hear (like the decision to film on 35mm) just makes me feel happy and confident that this is–
Pat B: Exactly the kind of slavish and pointless fan service that you ranted against regarding the Doctor Who 50th anniversary a while back.
Pat A: No, this is different. This is about bringing someone back who has been away. This is Han bloody Solo.
Pat B: coughcoughCrystalSkullcoughcough
Pat A: I don’t see what Crystal Skull has to do with anything.
Pat B: Every time I mention that movie, you recoil like you’ve just seen the hand out of the grave at the end of Carrie. And that was Indiana bloody Jones. Regardless of how it may be intellectually true that a bad sequel cannot hurt the originals, you know as well as I do that it isn’t emotionally true. Sure, you might be able to enjoy a couple of hours in the company of Brody, Quint and Hooper without thinking about Jaws: The Revenge, but can you honestly tell me that the final two movies didn’t change the way you think about The Matrix? It went from being a film you raved about to being a footnote in your cinematic history reading “Well, the first one was pretty good”.
Pat A: Bad sequels don’t harm the original movies. There’s nothing rational about suggesting otherwise.
Pat B: Yeah, and since when was there anything remotely rational about being a movie fan? The Matrix sequels damaged your feelings about the original. Crystal Skull *did* hurt your perception of the character of Indiana Jones, and possibly damaged the character’s legacy in the culture as a whole. There’s a nice bit in the extended video review over at Red Letter Media where Plinkett argues that the reason we aren’t happy seeing Indiana Jones as a much older dude because we never related to him as a fully-rounded character; we related to him as direct wish-fulfillment and nobody wishes to get old. It’s an astute point and surely applies just as much to Han Solo and Luke Skywalker? Maybe even more so?
Pat A: Whatever. Look, the prequels had so many problems that nobody’s likely to be walking into the cinema for Episode VII expecting perfection. Not in the way that we foolishly were back in 1999 when Phantom Menace came out, anyway. We just want to have some fun, and to see our old favourites back on-screen, and if you’re that determined to find the bad side of this situation you really shouldn’t call yourself a Star Wars fan. Ah, well, at least you didn’t mention the JJ Abrams lens flare thing.
Pat B: I was saving that bit for the end.
Pat A: Aaaaaggghh!! Don’t start me on that. It’s the internet at its very, very worst. Look, if the internet had existed in Kubrick’s heyday, you’d have had endless Comments Section Warriors banging on about his “overuse” of one-point perspective. If people take exception to a director having a visual trademark and act like angry villagers carrying burning torches every time it crops up, we’ll end up with every movie that ever gets made looking exactly the goddamn same.
Pat B: And endless sequels and prequels to existing properties that don’t need further expansion, rather than new and innovative movies.
Pat A: Exactl– Oh, hang on. I see what you’re doing there. To hell with this, I’m going to go and watch the movie with someone else who’ll actually enjoy it for what it is, rather than pissing and moaning about what it isn’t.
Pat B: Fine. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 is scheduled to come out that month, too. I’ll go see that instead.
Pat A: They’re making another Alvin? Man, that really winds me up. They should leave the classic trilogy alone. Some things should just be left as perfect memories.
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